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  1. #1
    Senior Member vonfilm's Avatar
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    Hope to do more miles this year, but it is hard to find the time

    I usually hang out in Classic and Vintage. I am 55 years old 5" 10" and 255 lbs. Thirty years ago my bike was my main transportation and I weighed 135 lbs. I rode everywhere at top speed. Fast forward 30 years and I am married, have a 15 year old son, work long hours and find very little time to ride. Much of our family's free time involves getting my son to and from his varied activities which range for HS football to Boy Scouts.

    Now I get winded very easily and often have to push my bike uphill. This year I need to find the motivation to find the time to get out there even if I only have a few minutes to spare. I can't really ride to work because it is 10 miles uphill and I have to dress nicely at work and there are no showers there. I have off Thursdays and Sundays.

    Austin is very hilly and I find myself pushing uphill before I get 2 minutes from my house. I know that the more I get after it the easier it will get. I have 5 nice C&V lightweight bicycles in excellent tune so I am not lacking something nice to ride. I do like to go to Austin's Veloway becuse it is a beautiful place and is a very safe place to ride. I can't say that I am embarrased by riding in my current shape since I don't care what strangers think. I also have to say that I have not faced any derision while out riding. I was a little envious of the 6 year old girl riding up the hill on her tiny little bicyle that I was pushing up.

    As I reread these lines it does not sound very good to me. I just thought if I shared some of my feelings and frustrations with my fellow Clydesdales and Athenas that I might find more motivation to get out there and ride more this year. As I read the stories of those here that have ridden their way to better health I am humbled.
    1973 Schwinn Super Sport
    1986 Schwinn Peloton
    1987 Schwinn Super Sport frameset
    1976 Raleigh Super Course Mk II(for wife and son)
    1990 Davidson Impulse
    1990 Mongoose IBOC
    1995 Montague(BMW branded) folding mountain bike
    1999 Montague(BMW branded) folding mountain bike

  2. #2
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vonfilm View Post
    As I reread these lines it does not sound very good to me. I just thought if I shared some of my feelings and frustrations with my fellow Clydesdales and Athenas that I might find more motivation to get out there and ride more this year. As I read the stories of those here that have ridden their way to better health I am humbled.
    Ha, I like that first part.

    Well, you're not alone. Loads of people here have the same comments and issues, so you're welcome to hang out with us.

  3. #3
    Senior Member vonfilm's Avatar
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    Here is a picture of me and the 1973 Schwinn Super Sport that I bought new. I rode this thousands of miles in the 70's. A couple of years ago I did a complete restomod on it. It was originally light blue.

    0430201173SS 136 by vonfilm, on Flickr
    1973 Schwinn Super Sport
    1986 Schwinn Peloton
    1987 Schwinn Super Sport frameset
    1976 Raleigh Super Course Mk II(for wife and son)
    1990 Davidson Impulse
    1990 Mongoose IBOC
    1995 Montague(BMW branded) folding mountain bike
    1999 Montague(BMW branded) folding mountain bike

  4. #4
    Senior Member Pakiwi's Avatar
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    I know exactly what you are going through. I stopped cycling while the three girls started to grow up. They are 9-15.
    now it's time to get back on the bike. You have to find the time. Even if it's 1 hour on the trainer it's better than nothing. Even with the cold weather here I had 275 miles on the trainer and at spin class.
    My biggest complaint is that I can't lean far another forward because my legs hit my belly.
    But I know the more I work out the better off I will be.
    I set goals for the month and find ways of getting what I need done.
    Allan

  5. #5
    Senior Member Null66's Avatar
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    Live the way you would have your children live...

    They do what they see, not what you say.

    Take 'em with you!
    Last edited by Null66; 02-08-14 at 11:45 AM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Null66's Avatar
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    Oh, and REAL nice job on that very pretty bike!

  7. #7
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    I also find it hard to ride this time of year. The days are short and my time is stretched between work, children, home, church, and other commitments.

    My solution. I now get up at 4:30 am and am typically on my bike by 4:45. Yes it is dark, get lights. Yes it is early, go to bed by 9:30. I am able to get in about 20 miles and be back by 6:00. Some mornings, it is very hard to drag myself out of bed. However, I ALWAYS fell better after sweating out some miles and not having to stress over when I will find the time to ride later in the day.

    Quit making excuses why you can't, make it a priority and you will find the time.

    Good luck!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Null66's Avatar
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    When temperature permits, I get up at 4:30 to commute (just once a week) but it is half the 100 mile week target.

    I'll never make target until the weather improves.

    Perhaps an indoor trainer?

  9. #9
    Senior Member JackoDandy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B8888S View Post
    I also find it hard to ride this time of year. The days are short and my time is stretched between work, children, home, church, and other commitments.

    My solution. I now get up at 4:30 am and am typically on my bike by 4:45. ...

    Quit making excuses why you can't, make it a priority and you will find the time.

    Good luck!
    Though commendable, IMHO, this isnt something that is sustainable. Do you really think that you could adopt this major lifestyle change for the rest of your life? For me, what works is short neighborhood rides after work (30 mins or so) and longer rides on summer evenings or weekends. The short rides are enough to get me to a sweat, not too much time, and keep me interested.

    You have to make it and keep it fun. Once it becomes a chore, 99.9999% of us quit in either a week, month, or year.

    P.S. Nice job on the vintage bike.

  10. #10
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    Another guy here with similar constraints. Married, three teenagers, demanding job, overweight, etc. I had to find something to work towards to help motivate me to prioritize and carve out time in my day to get out on the bike.

    Started out by riding to work to lose some pounds and get myself into shape to complete a century ride, first a metric and then the 100 mile version. The following year I upped the goal to ride in a very very hilly century. Then the next year I joined a cycling club and responded very innocently to an e-mail from one of the other members about folks interested in cyclocross racing. Next thing I know I have a number pinned on my back and am lining up with a bunch of other middle-age guys in the grass for 30 minutes of pulse racing fun in the newbie "C" race. After two seasons of mid-pack race finishes that podium is my motivation for next year. I know that I'll have to lose a few more pounds (I'm flirting with 200 now, down from 250) and improve my fitness to have even a slim chance of reaching the podium next year.

    Good luck with finding your motivation. It's out there.

  11. #11
    Senior Member chriskmurray's Avatar
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    One thing that may work depending on how far things are spaced apart for you. You can start commuting to work which is a great way to get in a regular ride, if it was not for commuting there would be times I would not ride for a month with how busy I get at times.

    To take care of the teenager, if his activities are not spread too far apart, you can get him his own bike and he can use it to get himself around. When I was that age I got around town with my bike mostly because I liked the sense of freedom it gave me. If that would not work, at the very least he is not far off from being able to drive himself around.

  12. #12
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JackoDandy View Post
    For me, what works is short neighborhood rides after work (30 mins or so) and longer rides on summer evenings or weekends.
    OK, this resonated with me. I FREQUENTLY debate going on a bike ride... but don't have enough time to make it a "good one" or have an appointment or something that MAY (or may not) interfere... 2 weeks later I haven't ridden a mile.

    I have never regretted going for a 8 mile bike ride around the neighborhood. 30 min or so + time to get suited up and pump up the tired. Every little ride counts. Matter of fact, I find that I'm usually in better bike riding shape when i do frequent short rides rather than really long rides that leave me exhausted and wiped out for days.

    So the trick is just to get started. At least put your stuff on and go pump up the tires. By then, you'll probably want to go for a short ride. The hard part is just getting started, for most of us.

  13. #13
    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    Time is hard to find so try to make the most of it:


    - clean, inspect, lube and make any repairs on your bike ASAP so that it is always ready to go. 10-15 minutes after a ride is all it takes to give your bike the once over. 5 minutes to pump up your tires before work means 5 minutes more riding that evening.
    - keep your gear together and ready. I keep a helmet and gloves hanging from the handlebars of my hybrid, which is right next to my road bike. There is a velcro pant leg tie around my under seat bag. I've got dual sided pedals so I can grab a quick ride in street shoes and jeans if I want.
    - find reasons to ride. Need to pick up a quart of milk, return a movie, going across town to your kid's Little League game? Leave the keys and grab your helmet.
    - commute by bike when possible. It's well worth it to leave 15-30 minutes earlier to work so you can take your bike. If traffic is heavy, the bike might actually be faster.
    - set aside a specific time to ride. This seems hard, but think about how important it is to your physical and mental health. This is time invested, not wasted.
    - ride with a partner or group. It helps motivate you to get out there if someone is waiting for you.
    - analyze time wasters. Do you park in front of the TV after dinner? Surf the internet forums on perfectly good evenings?
    - don't turn every ride into a big production number. There is nothing wrong with just jumping on the bike for a 30-minute spin if that's all you have time for.
    - remember to have fun.
    Lead, follow or get out of the way

  14. #14
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    I think it's really worth taking another look at commuting by bike. The time efficiency is unmatched. Also, I've found there's always a way to solve any biking problem by spending more money, which you get back quickly in gas savings. There are bags designed to carry a suit nicely on the rack. There are plenty of products that will get you fresh and clean enough in the company bathroom.

    I started commuting last October. My drive is 45min one way. I've gotten down to 55min biking, plus 5-10min dressing/etc. So that 30-40 minutes out of my day for 2 hours exercise, plus I feel I get that time back with more energy at night. Soon I won't "qualify" for this forum any longer!

  15. #15
    Senior Member JackoDandy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VinceB View Post
    I think it's really worth taking another look at commuting by bike. The time efficiency is unmatched. Also, I've found there's always a way to solve any biking problem by spending more money, which you get back quickly in gas savings. There are bags designed to carry a suit nicely on the rack. There are plenty of products that will get you fresh and clean enough in the company bathroom.

    I started commuting last October. My drive is 45min one way. I've gotten down to 55min biking, plus 5-10min dressing/etc. So that 30-40 minutes out of my day for 2 hours exercise, plus I feel I get that time back with more energy at night. Soon I won't "qualify" for this forum any longer!
    This is a good point. If you are setting yourself 30mins-1hr of biking exercise per weekday, and your are within approx 10 miles f your workplace, this is a great way to get your ride in and save on gas, the environment, and become a 'commuter'.

    I did this for a few months, 3 x a week. Unfortunately my workplace re-located from 10 miles away to 15 miles, with hills. The extra distance and hills stopped it from being fun and turned the commute into well over an hour without clean-up time.

    The sweet spot for commuting for me would be 8-10 miles and relatively flat - each way. Im not afraid of hills, its just the 'clean-up' you have to do at work with sweat etc.

  16. #16
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    How is the area near your work place? Less hills? If there is good riding areas why not pack your cycle gear and bike and do a quick ride after work? Go way to relieve stress and wrap up the work day!

    Sometimes being prepared ahead is the best way! Kind of similar with eating, if your food is prepped ahead for the day you will be less likely to eat from the vending machine or grab fast food!

  17. #17
    Senior Member nkfrench's Avatar
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    See if you can use the time between kid dropoff and pickup to ride your bike. You don't have to watch every practice. See if you can make carpooling arrangements too.
    Find someplace with easier terrain and see if you can drive over to ride after work or on weekends.
    For rides after work that don't start at home, do NOT go home first. Pack everything into the car that morning. Once you get in the door at home, it's difficult to escape.
    No-shower cleanups at work are not only do-able but also don't take any extra time than a shower.
    See if you can involve other family members for weekend rides. Starbucks runs or breakfast rides are fun.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Retired2013's Avatar
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    Your conditioning will come in time. But if you want to ride to get back in shape - you gotta ride. is it possible that you could take your bike when driving your son to his activities. Even if you can ride a mile or two - they do add up. You are not alone - life is plain tough. Let me know how your riding is going. I am a little guy 6' 2 and a modest 257 pounds according to my last weight-in at weight watchers.
    Chris

  19. #19
    Senior Member kahughey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
    OK, this resonated with me. I FREQUENTLY debate going on a bike ride... but don't have enough time to make it a "good one" or have an appointment or something that MAY (or may not) interfere... 2 weeks later I haven't ridden a mile.

    I have never regretted going for a 8 mile bike ride around the neighborhood. 30 min or so + time to get suited up and pump up the tired. Every little ride counts. Matter of fact, I find that I'm usually in better bike riding shape when i do frequent short rides rather than really long rides that leave me exhausted and wiped out for days.

    So the trick is just to get started. At least put your stuff on and go pump up the tires. By then, you'll probably want to go for a short ride. The hard part is just getting started, for most of us.
    Today I was straddling the fence between take a nap or ride. I kept having this nagging thought... " At least put your stuff on and go pump up the tires. By then, you'll probably want to go for a short ride. " So I put my stuff on pumped my tires and set out to do my easy loop. It was closed due to Arts Festival. Kept going and to make a long story short, climbed part of Red Top Mountain. (a residential section) I did not think I was ready for that kind of ride but I did it, because at least I put my stuff on and pumped up the tires.

    Thanks Trojan Horse!

  20. #20
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kahughey View Post
    Today I was straddling the fence between take a nap or ride. I kept having this nagging thought... " At least put your stuff on and go pump up the tires. By then, you'll probably want to go for a short ride. " So I put my stuff on pumped my tires and set out to do my easy loop. It was closed due to Arts Festival. Kept going and to make a long story short, climbed part of Red Top Mountain. (a residential section) I did not think I was ready for that kind of ride but I did it, because at least I put my stuff on and pumped up the tires.

    Thanks Trojan Horse!
    Ha! Awesome... I did the same thing today. I went camping with my son all weekend and I was tired, it was 95 out (suck it, northeast people) and my wife said "hey, let's go for a ride" so we did.

    I sometimes need a little external motivation but really, I never regret it.

  21. #21
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    Just read your first post. Many here have stories that run similar to yours. Family and responsibilities make it tough and before you know it things are out of control.

    One thing I did to get in some miles was to commute and ride at night. I may only commute once or twice a week but at least it was something. In the beginning when I couldn't make it the whole way I'd drive to about 5 miles away and park and ride in from there. Then I'd move back a distance as my conditioning improved or time allowed.

    Night riding is awesome, yet comes with a bit of risk. Bike path only for me and plenty of lights.
    http://www.280dude.com/
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  22. #22
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B8888S View Post
    I also find it hard to ride this time of year. The days are short and my time is stretched between work, children, home, church, and other commitments.

    My solution. I now get up at 4:30 am and am typically on my bike by 4:45. Yes it is dark, get lights. Yes it is early, go to bed by 9:30. I am able to get in about 20 miles and be back by 6:00. Some mornings, it is very hard to drag myself out of bed. However, I ALWAYS fell better after sweating out some miles and not having to stress over when I will find the time to ride later in the day.

    Quit making excuses why you can't, make it a priority and you will find the time.

    Good luck!
    Obviously some are so busy they would have to make some tough choices but in the end MOST PEOPLE can carve out some time if they are willing to make a sacrifice or change their habits. You mentioned getting up early and going to bed early. I'm in the process of training myself to do this. My nature is to stay up and work until the wee hours of the morning.... it's when I feel I work best. Like you mentioned I FEEL AWESOME when I am able to get up and get a morning ride in. It's incredible and sets up my whole day.
    http://www.280dude.com/
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  23. #23
    Senior Member RoadTire's Avatar
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    Hey vonfilm - glad you were able to vent a little. You're getting some good honest responses and sage advice. The difficulty you are having getting out sure isn't limited to members of this particular forum either, so you're surly not alone. Hopefully you will find a way to do a lifestyle change that will bring you back to where you want to be. I'm 55, but went through the whole marriage+job+kids thing with a daughter and twin boys, who are just getting out on their own now.

    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
    OK, this resonated with me. I FREQUENTLY debate going on a bike ride... but don't have enough time to make it a "good one" or have an appointment or something that MAY (or may not) interfere... 2 weeks later I haven't ridden a mile...So the trick is just to get started. At least put your stuff on and go pump up the tires. By then, you'll probably want to go for a short ride. The hard part is just getting started, for most of us.
    I could have written that verbatim - it describes exactly what happened to my riding last year. So this year even if I only have a 45 minute slot, that will be a fast 45 minute ride. When I have more time I'll go longer and pace myself better. Every bit of my biking clothes are all together in a duffel by the bike, or in the case tonight, draped all over around the bike to dry from today's ride / wash. I'm going to get a couple more pairs of shorts so I don't have to wash every day. Again, removing all the excuses. Today was only 10 miles because I cut it short, and by evening I was itching to ride again because I didn't knock myself out. The whole idea is having everything in one spot so you can literally drop you pants, get dressed, and go.

    So you see, a lot of us have the same time-constraints that are often just as much in our heads as they are real, so - when you can identify the excuses, remove them, one by one. Oh, and BTW - even walking up those hills is good exercise.
    FB4K - Free Bikes 4 Kidz. This fall 5000 bikes have been donated and we will have them all set to go by Dec 6. That's 5000 kids getting bicycles for Christmas, just in the Twin Cities.

  24. #24
    Senior Member MikeRides's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WonderMonkey View Post
    Night riding is awesome, yet comes with a bit of risk. Bike path only for me and plenty of lights.
    I have to add to this: Before every ride, even if you don't plan on riding after dark, make sure you have fresh batteries or that your light is fully charged (if you have a rechargeable). I ride on a rural highway, thankfully there's not that much traffic at night as last summer I was stuck riding in the pitch black on two occasions when my lights did not work because..get this.. the batteries were dead! Apparently the humidity had something to do with it both times. After the second time, I threw the light in the trash. The light was a inexpensive Bell model, which seemed pretty bright for the cost when the batteries were brand new but once they get low, the lights are worth crap. I started carrying my helmet light that day forward and still keep it in my handlebar bag.
    "Just ride it until the wheels fall off!"

  25. #25
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    If you need a headlight, try these out: Amazon.com: 4 Mode 1200 Lumen CREE XML T6 Bulb LED Bicycle bike HeadLight Lamp Flashlight Light Headlamp: Sports & Outdoors

    I have 3 of them now and they're just as good as the magic shine that they're cloned from, and I have one of them too.

    As for riding regularly - the BEST thing that has happened to me this year is my son switched soccer teams. (He and his sister both play club soccer, which is quite a time commitment I tell you)

    Anyway, he practices on Mondays and wednesdays and it's far enough away that I have to drive him and wait till he's done, so I bring my bike and go for a ride. 2+ hours on Monday and 1.5+ hours on Wednesday. It's like an appointment with myself to ride my bike and everybody in my family is onboard. Awesome!

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